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Bombed, not beaten: Ukraine's capital flips to survival mode

The Associated Press logoThe Associated Press 6 days ago By JOHN LEICESTER, HANNA ARHIROVA and SAM MEDNICK, Associated Press
Viktor Anastasiev's wife cries near her wounded husband after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) © Provided by The Associated Press Viktor Anastasiev's wife cries near her wounded husband after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Residents of Ukraine's bombed capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark.

People wait in line to collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but undaunted capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark.  (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People wait in line to collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but undaunted capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

In scenes hard to believe in a sophisticated city of 3 million, some Kyiv residents resorted to collecting rainwater from drainpipes, as repair teams labored to reconnect supplies.

Ukrainian paramedics examine a resident wounded during a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) © Provided by The Associated Press Ukrainian paramedics examine a resident wounded during a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Friends and family members exchanged messages to find out who had electricity and water back. Some had one but not the other. The previous day's aerial onslaught on Ukraine's power grid left many with neither.

People collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but undaunted capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark.  (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but undaunted capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Cafés in Kyiv that by some small miracle had both quickly became oases of comfort on Thursday.

Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old worker at Kyiv’s Department of Health, collects rainwater from a drainpipe in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but not cowed capital roamed the streets with empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for warmth, light and power Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes the previous day plunged the city of 3 million and much of the country into the dark in winter.  (AP Photo/John Leicester) © Provided by The Associated Press Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old worker at Kyiv’s Department of Health, collects rainwater from a drainpipe in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but not cowed capital roamed the streets with empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for warmth, light and power Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes the previous day plunged the city of 3 million and much of the country into the dark in winter. (AP Photo/John Leicester)

Oleksiy Rashchupkin, a 39-year-old investment banker, awoke to find that water had been reconnected to his third-floor flat but power had not. His freezer thawed in the blackout, leaving a puddle on his floor.

A resident look at the damage in a building after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) © Provided by The Associated Press A resident look at the damage in a building after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

So he hopped into a cab and crossed the Dnieper River from left bank to right, to a café that he’d noticed had stayed open after previous Russian strikes. Sure enough, it was serving hot drinks, hot food and the music and Wi-Fi were on.

A Ukrainian paramedic helps an injured resident moments after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) © Provided by The Associated Press A Ukrainian paramedic helps an injured resident moments after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

“I’m here because there is heating, coffee and light,” he said. “Here is life.”

People collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but undaunted capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark. 
 (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but undaunted capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said about 70% of the Ukrainian capital was still without power on Thursday morning.

People gather their belongings from a damaged house after Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod outside the capital Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power on Thursday morning after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) © Provided by The Associated Press People gather their belongings from a damaged house after Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod outside the capital Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power on Thursday morning after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

As Kyiv and other cities picked themselves up, Kherson on Thursday came under its heaviest bombardment since Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city two weeks ago. The barrage of missiles killed four people outside a coffee shop and a woman was also killed next to her house, witnesses said, speaking to Associated Press reporters.

A woman walks by house damaged during Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod outside the capital Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power on Thursday morning after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) © Provided by The Associated Press A woman walks by house damaged during Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod outside the capital Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power on Thursday morning after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

In Kyiv, where cold rain fell on the remnants of previous snowfalls, the mood was grim but steely. The winter promises to be a long one. But Ukrainians say that if Russian President Vladimir Putin's intention is to break them, he should think again.

Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old worker at Kyiv’s Department of Health, walks away after collecting rainwater from a drainpipe in Kyiv, on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but not cowed capital roamed the streets with empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for warmth, light and power Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes the previous day plunged the city of 3 million and much of the country into the dark in winter. (AP Photo/John Leicester) © Provided by The Associated Press Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old worker at Kyiv’s Department of Health, walks away after collecting rainwater from a drainpipe in Kyiv, on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but not cowed capital roamed the streets with empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for warmth, light and power Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes the previous day plunged the city of 3 million and much of the country into the dark in winter. (AP Photo/John Leicester)

“Nobody will compromise their will and principles just for electricity,” said Alina Dubeiko, 34. She, too, sought out the comfort of another, equally crowded, warm and lit café. Without electricity, heating and water at home, she was determined to keep up her work routine. Adapting to life shorn of its usual comforts, Dubeiko said she uses two glasses of water to wash, then catches her hair in a ponytail and is ready for her working day.

Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old worker at Kyiv’s Department of Health, collects rainwater from a drainpipe in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but not cowed capital roamed the streets with empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for warmth, light and power Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes the previous day plunged the city of 3 million and much of the country into the dark in winter.  (AP Photo/John Leicester) © Provided by The Associated Press Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old worker at Kyiv’s Department of Health, collects rainwater from a drainpipe in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2022. Residents of Ukraine's bombed but not cowed capital roamed the streets with empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for warmth, light and power Thursday, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes the previous day plunged the city of 3 million and much of the country into the dark in winter. (AP Photo/John Leicester)

She said she'd rather be without power than live with the Russian invasion, which crossed the nine-month mark on Thursday.

People gather their belongings from a damaged house after Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod outside the capital Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power on Thursday morning after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) © Provided by The Associated Press People gather their belongings from a damaged house after Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod outside the capital Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power on Thursday morning after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

“Without light or you? Without you,” she said, echoing remarks President Volodymyr Zelenskky made when Russia on Oct. 10 unleashed the first of what has now become a series of aerial attacks on key Ukrainian infrastructure.

This photo shows a city center during a blackout after a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Russia unleashed a new missile onslaught on Ukraine's battered energy grid Wednesday, robbing cities of power and some of water and public transport, too, compounding the hardship of winter for millions. The aerial mauling of power supplies also took nuclear plants and internet links offline and spilled blackouts into neighbor Moldova. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko) © Provided by The Associated Press This photo shows a city center during a blackout after a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Russia unleashed a new missile onslaught on Ukraine's battered energy grid Wednesday, robbing cities of power and some of water and public transport, too, compounding the hardship of winter for millions. The aerial mauling of power supplies also took nuclear plants and internet links offline and spilled blackouts into neighbor Moldova. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko)

Western leaders denounced the bombing campaign. “Strikes against civilian infrastructures are war crimes,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

A woman carries a bucket with water at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press A woman carries a bucket with water at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov acknowledged Thursday that it targeted Ukrainian energy facilities. But he said they were linked to Ukraine’s military command and control system and that the aim was to disrupt flows of Ukrainian troops, weapons and ammunition to front lines. Authorities for Kyiv and the wider Kyiv region reported a total of 7 people killed and dozens of wounded.

People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “We are conducting strikes against infrastructure in response to the unbridled flow of weapons to Ukraine and the reckless appeals of Kyiv to defeat Russia.”

People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also sought to shift blame for civilian hardship on Ukraine's government.

People photograph themselves on destroyed Russian tanks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People photograph themselves on destroyed Russian tanks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“Ukraine’s leadership has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal, has every opportunity to resolve the situation in such a way as to meet the demands of the Russian side and, accordingly, end all possible suffering of the civilian population,” Peskov said.

A woman walks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press A woman walks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

In Kyiv, people lined up at public water points to fill plastic bottles. In a strange new war-time first for her, 31-year-old Health Department employee Kateryna Luchkina resorted to collecting rainwater from a drainpipe, so she could at least wash her hands at work, which had no water. She filled two plastic bottles, waiting patiently in the rain until they had water to the brim. A colleague followed behind her, doing the same.

People walk past a cafe at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People walk past a cafe at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“We Ukrainians are so resourceful, we will think of something. We do not lose our spirit,” Luchkina said. “We work, live in the rhythm of survival or something, as much as possible. We do not lose hope that everything will be fine.”

People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The city mayor said on Telegram that power engineers “are doing their best ” to restore electricity. Water repair teams were making progress, too. In the early afternoon, Klitschko announced that water supplies had been restored across the capital, with the caveat that “some consumers may still experience low water pressure.”

A man walks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press A man walks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Power, heat and water were gradually coming back elsewhere, too. In Ukraine’s southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region, the governor announced that 3,000 miners trapped underground because of power blackouts had been rescued. Regional authorities posted messages on social media updating people on the progress of repairs but also saying they needed time.

People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Mindful of the hardships — both now and ahead, as winter progresses — authorities are opening thousands of so-called “points of invincibility” — heated and powered spaces offering hot meals, electricity and internet connections. More than 3,700 were open across the country of Thursday morning, said a senior official in the presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

A man rides by bicycle at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press A man rides by bicycle at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

In Kherson, hospitals without power and water are also contending with the gruesome after-effects of intensifying Russian strikes. They hit residential and commercial buildings Thursday, setting some ablaze, blowing ash skyward and shattering glass across streets. Paramedics helped the injured.

A young couple walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press A young couple walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Olena Zhura was carrying bread to her neighbors when a strike that destroyed half of her house wounded her husband, Victor. He writhed in pain as paramedics carried him away.

A man walks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press A man walks at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“I was shocked," she said, welling with tears. "Then I heard (him) shouting: ‘Save me, save me.”

People cross the road at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People cross the road at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

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People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) © Provided by The Associated Press People walk at the city center which lost electrical power after yesterday's Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Mednick reported from Kherson, Ukraine.

Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS) © Provided by The Associated Press Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)

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Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS) © Provided by The Associated Press Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)

Follow AP coverage of the war in Ukraine at: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Ukrainian military's Grad multiple rocket launcher drives on the road in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)

Ukrainian military's Grad multiple rocket launcher drives on the road in the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)
© Provided by The Associated Press
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